Achieving style is effortless when you wear the New Era MLB 59FIFTY Sawade Cap. This luxurious cap is made of 100% faux suede and features an official team logo on the front with triple suede appliqué. Also features raised embroidery on the back with the official league logo, NE Wear logo on left side and official team wordmark on right side. Imported.
The loss of Joba Chamberlain for any period of time could be devastating for the Yankees who may finally have one injury too many. I’m amazed at how the Yanks have pieced together a respectable year after losing Posada, Matsui, Wang, Hughes et al for extended periods. They even made some brilliant moves at the trade deadline–getting Pudge, Marte, Naday and Sexon for virtually nothing. But losing Joba may be too much.
The latest word on the Joba Chamberlain injury is that he’s out for at least 15 days after which he’ll begin rehabbing. In other words, the MRI results he got were not the worst possible, and surgery seems avoidable for now. But with only 6 or so weeks left in the season and with the yanks 6.5 and 3.5 out of the division and wildcard respectively, things look grim. To make up that kind of ground, they yanks need to go on a tear of epic proportions, and we all know how difficult that can be with an inconsistent starting rotation.
That said, Colorado pulled off such a tear last year with a group of pitchers headed up by Jeff Francis, so stranger things have happened not that long ago. But the real issue is that there are three good teams in the Yanks’ division for the first time in a long time, and only two of them can play in October. In addition, the the Twins and Rangers can’t be overlooked as playoff contenders, so the bottom line is that the Yanks will need to trend on a .700 winning percentage to even think about the postseason. Again, not impossible, but very difficult given the lack of pop in the offense and the lack of consistency by the pitching.
One final thought: it would really twist the knife into the fans if the Yanks can’t somehow rally and play October baseball in the last year of the Stadium. If this does happen, check out these autographed bats and get yourself a nice souvenir to dull the pain.
Given the train-wreck the Knicks have been for most of the decade now, you would think that they would eventually score a 1st overall pick. Given all the talent in the top 3-5 of the NBA draft, how great would it be to see the Knicks land a Rose, Beasley or Mayo?
Anyway, the kicks landed Danilo Gallinari as the no. 7 pick overall. Gallinari is a top shooter from Italy who could give the Knicks a real field-goal threat while also being a fairly big guy. Word on the street is that he can be solid contributor but is not considered a superstar-to-be a la Derek Rose.
The real question is how will he fit in on the Knicks who will be rebuilding for a while in the post-Isiah era? I can’t remember a Knicks player who came over from Europe and had a degree of success. Maybe he’ll fit in as well as Gasol fits in on the Lakers? The key is that the knicks will be young and will need good coaching to coax the talent out of players like Gallinari, and who knows how this will play out.
My feeling is that the Knicks hit bottom last year and have paved the way for real positive change by ending Isiah Thomas’ tenure. New York will be a playoff team and contender in 2-3 years and may surprise a few next year. Until then, store up on your New York Knicks gear here.
An interesting week for NY sports and sports in general.
First off, too bad the Lakers couldn’t dispatch the Celtics. Obviously, any NY fan is going to cheer for the team playing Boston in any championship. The Lakers never seemed like the better team in this series though and were totally outplayed. Check out this Celtics Championship gear if you’re a fan.
Next, Tiger Woods is out for the year after winning the US Open in a spectacular playoff. So many people were watching the playoff that the volume on the NYSE dropped 9% during the broadcast. The loss of Tiger is very unfortunate for the PGA because it will take away a lot of casual golf fans like me, but if there’s any upside, it’s that it will allow for some of the sport’s other great players to steal some of the limelight.
But the biggest NY sports story recently has been the firing of Mets manager Willie Randolph. For the record there were other dismissals in addition to Randolph–Rick Peterson and Tom Nieto. You’ll remember from my post a few weeks ago that I thought Randolph was on a short leash, and I’m not surprised they axed him what with the Mets under-performance this year and rumors spilling out about how indifferent the players were towards him as a manager (not to mention his poor treatment of the media). But what was a surprise was how poorly the Mets organization handled the dismissal.
What did Omar Minaya and the Wilpons achieve by firing their manager in the middle of the night when he’s on the west coast? If anything it generated sympathy for Randolph in the very media that despised him only a day before he was fired. The move can almost only be seen as a massive dis on Randolph–they just couldn’t stand him anymore. But if this was the case why did the organization lend its “full support” to him a month ago in a highly-publicized press conference. For a funny send-up of all this check out this Daily Show clip of the firing of Willie Randolph.
Meanwhile, the Yankees keep beating up on weak National League teams and are now 5 games over .500. Let’s hope they can keep this all going despite losing Chien-Ming Wang for a month so so.
Mike Mussina (10-4?!!) pitched six solid innings for his latest win, and the Yanks moved three games above .500 for the first time this season in their latest victory over the Astros Saturday night. Mussina now improves to 9-1 in his last 11 starts, and the Yanks offense in general is going through a sort of renaissance.(Here’s a trip down memory lane: remember the last time the Yanks played Houston? That’s right, it was when six-pitchers combined to no-hit the Yanks in one of the most depressing games I’ve ever seen. Also, how unspectacular is it to have six guys combine for a no-hitter?!)
The Yankees won for the eighth time in 11 games and secured their first back-to-back road series wins for the first time this season. The Yanks schedule in June is pretty light, so it’s good to see them taking advantage of teams they should beat.
It’s also nice to see Mussina answer his critics by pitching as well as he has. Mike was written off by pretty much every sportswriter in the city in April, and is now a solid contributor the Yanks recent surge. He’s a smart guy (graduated Stanford in 3 years)–maybe too smart for his own good, as he tends to overthink each situation. Perhaps he’s learned to adapt to his limitations now.
So does all this translate to the Yanks getting consistent wins and making a run for the playoffs? They’re in a better position than they were a year ago when they got the wildcard. I think catching Boston at this point may be unrealistic, but they’re only a few games out of the wildcard right now.
Anyway, there’s a ton of games yet to play, and I think the Yanks will definitely deal come July. After the non-deal for Santana, the Steinbrenners are itching to make a splash by the trade deadline. I’ll keep you all posted about possible deal rumors.
Being a .500 team is a drag–just win you huff it for a win one night, you drop the game right after, and there’s never a sense of consistency. My softball team is going through this right now, so we’re seeing if some new softball and baseball equipment will do the job.
Joba Chamberlain’s debut as a starter was by most measures a dissapointment. Chamberlain lasted just 2 1/3 innings Tuesday against Toronto, and Girardi pulled him after 62 pitches, about what the Yankees had planned to limit him to. He allowed two runs on one hit and four walks, striking out three.
Chamberlain’s latest start against KC was also mixed, and he will not stand to win this game. He allowed 5 hits and 2 earned runs through 4 1/3 innings.
So how good does this decision to bring Chamberlain out of his set-up role after two starts? It’s probably too early to tell, but it’s clear that Chamberlain may not be completely comfortable starting games. It does not help that he’s on another pitch count leash, which may serve a kind of distraction.
There are rumors that the yankees may be interested in Brian Fuentes of the Rockies who would potentially fill the void that Joba left in the bullpen. A deal for Fuentes would indicate the Yankees are fully committed to Joba as a starter.
Expectations for Joba are high. While he wasn’t rocked in any of his starts, he hasn’t come out of the bullpen seemlessly a la John Smoltz. Joba doesn’t look fully confident.
Unfortunately, with with Ian Kennedy ineffective and Phil Hughes injured (again), moving Chamberlain into the rotation is a clear desperation move on the part of the Yanks. With Boston pulling away in first place and the yanks continuing to play .500 ball, there may not be much more amo left short of a blockbuster deal–one that would include more than Brian Fuentes.
After a third of a season gone, how smart does the non-deal for Johan Santana look now? Not very good.
Since the beginning of May, the Mets’ world has been consumed by whether their manager, Willie Randolph, will be fired–not exactly the kind of press a team needs. On almost a daily basis there is speculation about when/how Willie will get the ax, and every time the Mets blow a lead to lose a game, Willie’s head is the first thing to be discussed.
On May 26, SI reported that the Mets leadership will support Randolph for now at least. (This is the Wilpons AND Omar Minaya lending their support.) On Mike Silva’s NY Baseball digest, Mike and Howard Megdal speculated last week that Willie will still be on a very short leash in the coming weeks and that the Mets players are, at best, indifferent towards the manager’s fate.
There does seem to be consensus about one thing: if there were a decent manager out there to replace Willie, the Mets would have pulled the trigger already. The Mets brass can’t be happy with the Mets lackluster performance so far this year on top of one of the worst late-season collapses in recent memory. Since the second half of last year until June 1, 2008, the Mets are a .500 club. With all that talent and a payroll that is 3rd in the majors ($138 MM), no wonder fans are grumbling.
(Interesting note: As of June 1, the top 3 payrolls in baseball, the Yankees, Tigers and Mets (a combined $486 MM) are each in 4th place in their divisions.)
There are some who strangely believe that the return of Pedro Martinez and Moises Alou and some others will somehow rejuvenate this team and save Willie’s job. I doubt this will happen. There is a pall that has fallen on this team. Like the Yankees, I’m not seeing a team that can consistently play with determination and grit, and this clearly stems from the leadership.
The Mets are a good team that has been underachieving for almost a year now. If you’re still a fan, check out some of this Mets gear available on BizRate. Making a leadership change makes sense; too bad there’s nobody the Mets can slip into the Manager’s role overnight. Until then Willie will be at the helm, and the Mets brass will continue to make glib statements of support so that they don’t undermine their manager too much.
I’m back from vacation, and the Yanks are still in last place–7.5 games out of first with Boston pulling away. It’s not only the Yankees this year who are disappointing, but pre-season favorites Seattle and Detroit are also well in last place as of this post. All three of these teams are suffering from similar problems.
So what’s going wrong with the Yanks? There’s the obvious loss of A-Rod and Posada, but even when they were in the lineup the offense was not clicking. A-Rod is now back, so get your A-Rod jersey now and hope he can break this offensive malaise. Currently the Yanks are ranked 19th in the majors for batting avg. and and 13th for home runs. This is a surprise for a team that is essentially unchanged from last year and was a top 10 offense for most of that year (albeit below the top 10 in hitting with RSP).
Perhaps less of a surprise is the pitching. The Yanks are currently ranked 19th in the majors for ERA. (At least this team is consistent for something!) I think many predicted that it would be either feast or famine for this year’s staff, which is composed mainly of young arms who have simply not performed. Chien Ming Wang has been impressive as the occasional ace of this staff and Mike Mussina had a string of 5 wins, but Andy Pettitte seems lost, and Hughes and Kennedy combined have 0 wins. Even Joba Chamberlain has an almost human ERA of 2.66.
This may be a coaching issue, as Girardi brought in new coaches as the Joe Torre era ended. Some of the players may need to adjust to some new coaching styles. It goes without saying that if the offense continues to struggle this mightily that heads will roll but probably not Girardi’s. What may very well happen is that the front offense (i.e. Hank and Hal) will step in and have a much more hands-on approach with on-the-field matters.
The 2008 Yanks have not been an inspirational team, have not shown the ability to grind out wins, and have not shown that there is a leader willing to carry the team on his back. In short, this is a team that is not fun to watch and is in serious jeopardy of not making the playoffs.
Last year at this time I was saying that 2007 would be the first year since 1993 (I don’t count ‘94, the strike year) that this team would not play in October. While the Yanks have a marginally better record so far this year, they somehow seem more lost. This is all very unfortunate considering that this is the last year in the Stadium.
There is still a lot more baseball to play, however. On the plane back to NYC, I did manage to play the new MLB 08 for the PSP. It was awesome. Great way to kill time on a coast-to-coast flight.
MLB this year is raising awareness for breast cancer again this year, as hundreds of major leaguers will swing pink bats, which will later be auctioned off to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation to fight breast cancer. The bats above belong to Yankees OF Melky Cabrera. On a separate note, my aunt Janet is a survivor, and I will be running for her in the Revlon run/walk for women this weekend in Los Angeles. Check out these cool Mothers Day gifts, and have a great weekend!
Last week, I traveled down to West Virginia for a rafting trip/bachelor party. Was it worth 12 hours of driving? Absolutely. The fact we had an RV and, more importantly, a driver to get us down there while we drank and played cards definitely helped. The rafting outfit was called Rivermen , and they ran a tight raft. For around $150 you can camp on their grounds and get a guided, day-long raft tour of the New River, which, according to our guide, is the 2nd oldest river in the world?! Check out these whitewater rafts if you ever feel like being your own tour guide.
Our 6+ hour trip consisted of two parts. 95% of the first part of the tour was pretty tame. There were a few class 2-3 rapids that tossed the raft around a bit, but nothing too crazy. Then came the class 3 rapid aptly called “surprise”. There we hit a wave so big that it nearly bailed the raft (see picture above, I’m seated 3rd from left). Derek, the bachelor, can’t even be seen in the photo, as he was well underwater at that point. Two others in the raft also got chucked out. After seeing the looks on their faces when they got back in the raft, I was pretty sure I didn’t want to get tossed too.
Part two of out trip was much more fun, as we crashed through ~20 rapids that were all class 3-5. Class 5 rapids are the most dangerous one can do without a license. After a while you get the hang of it, and (most of) the fear abates. I have to admit there were a few points on this trip where I was genuinely scared. There is so much buildup as you’re paddling towards the rapids against all of your rational instincts that when you hit the whitewater the adrenaline is coursing through your veins.
Overall it was an awesome time that was well worth the trip. Nothing like doing an inherently risky activity with your best friends on a Saturday afternoon.